Disney Cousins Fall Trip: Hotel Review & Favorites

Alright everyone! We’ve made it a month and we’re still talking about this trip. Sorry it took so long to get everything written up.

But it’s time to talk about Port Orleans: Riverside, and specifically The Royal Room!

 

As I’ve mentioned, we weren’t even supposed to stay here. The original plan was for French Quarter, for a couple of reasons. French Quarter is largely regarded by the blog community to be the more efficient choice, and the theming of Riverside squicks me a little. The division into Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou, that is, large opulent antebellum mansions and “rustic” cabins respectively, feels, mmm, how do I say this…KIND OF REALLY GROSS? I mean, Gone With The Wind is in my top 10 favorite movies, so I’m normally OK about compartmentalizing such things but a hotel built in the 90s having it feels off, and super weird.

“I’ll think about our culture’s problematic relationship with slaveholding society tomorrow, at Tara!”

BUT, anyway, we wound up in the Royal Room, which was, kind of insanely great and also completely ridiculous and insane.

TADA!

 

The rooms are probably great for families, especially princess obsessed little girls, and since that’s what I am on the inside, well, it worked out. The portraits of the princesses, the electric headboard, and the note from Tiana are all very fun touches.

Light Up headboards: Excellent for drunken giggling and applause.

Some princely appreciation (Not much but it’s there)

Tiana, welcoming us. (Helping to sooth my weird guilt about the theme)

The rest of the resort really felt nice. I’ll reevaluate after staying at Pop (and there’s a possible Coronado Springs in a few months!), but I think I may have settled on really enjoying the moderate resort experience, when it comes to saving money. River Roost is a fantastic lounge, not just by Disney Bar standards, but by hotel bar standards, with a good mix of seating options, (arm chairs by a fireplace for the win, ALWAYS!) a friendly and well informed staff, (not really a huge deal at Disney, but still, always pluses the experience) and some good food options.

I didn’t get time to walk around as much as I would have liked, but what I did see was really pretty, Fulton’s is definitely the better laid out of the gift shops I’ve seen so far. Riverside is definitely going to be a repeat spot. It’s hard to beat the price and it’s a beautiful resort with two other types of rooms for me to try out. (Regular Magnolia Bend Room and Aligator Bayou Room).

I should note, I’m a fast walker, so me not minding the sprawling moderate resorts because it doesn’t take me long to get around should be taken with a grain of salt. I have long legs, and I’m from a metro area where strolling is basically considered a hate crime. (Seriously, if you’re visiting New York, DO NOT WALK SLOWLY DOWN THE SIDEWALK. EVERYONE HATES YOU.) So when I say, “it only took me a minute or two to get to the lobby/main bus stop,” that might be a longer walk for people who are less crazy.

Favorites:

Ride:

Pandora Flight Of Passage is REALLY really good. The 3-D is beautifully rendered, the pre show fun and a little bit awkward (as all the best pre shows are) and the queue spectacular. It wins this trip, for sure. It’s stunningly beautiful, thrilling, and really, really special.

Show:

Illuminations. I love it so much, and while Boo To You and Hallo-Wishes are great, seeing my old favorite from a new (and incredible) angle really made it feel special. (Also the drinks.)

Meal:

Frontera Cucina was definitely the showplace “big meal” of the trip. It was a really good one too. I’m leaning heavily on new things being the favorites, but in general, with restaurants I try not to over repeat. (It was very weird to not go to Be Our Guest this trip!) But I’ll always love Mexican food, and I’m getting to the point now where I’ll be able to really give strong recomendations on where to eat at Springs. (Given the choice? I’d pick Homecomin’ over Frontera, both are excellent but Homecomin’ blew me away)

Drink:

You know it wouldn’t be a favorites post without me talking about what bit of alcohol made me happiest. It’s going to The Snakebite at Rose and Crown. I’m still drinking these. Seriously, I asked for one at the Bar and Grill where my family and I meet for dinner once a week. (Tom thinks I should request they call it “Reenie’s Snakebite” there, but you know, I’m not pushing it)

Snack:

This is a tie! I don’t usually allow ties, but since I had to choose between something seasonal and special and something that I make sure I eat every trip because I love it so much. The choices are the Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, and the Spice Road Table Hummus Fries.

The ice cream first. I love all things pumpkin spice. (You know, much like how I adore my Uggs, Rose Spritzers and feel that Taylor Swift just “gets me.” I’m a white girl.) So when it came time to grab a snack while Tom and I waited on the fireworks, well, I grabbed a scoop of this. It was perfectly balanced between good creamy ice cream sweetness and the sort of pumpkin pie flavor that makes up the best pumpkin spice flavored things. 10 out of 10 would snack again.

Now onto my latest rhapsody to the hummus fries. It’s fried hummus. But Reenie, you might say, isn’t that just a falafel? I mean, kind of. But there’s something in the texture about these which makes them BETTER than falafel, also the dipping sauce is really yummy, and it gets eaten in easily my favorite restaurant in Epcot! So you know…I love them.

Guys, I’m going to be back in Disney World in a few weeks. Seriously, so soon. If you want more details on that trip, you should check out Juli’s blog Random Spirited Ramblings. She took the lead on the planning this time (which was nice for me! I love Disney planning, but it was nice to step back a minute.)

Advertisements

Disney Cousin Fall Trip: 9/18/2017: “See You Real (Like REAL REAL) Soon!”

Monday morning I woke up and decided that rather than go to the park, I’d head over to Disney Springs and do a little shopping. Tom was on a much earlier Magical Express than I so we parted ways.

First I stopped by the food quart, as I’d realized it had been three days and I hadn’t eaten anything shaped like Mickey! The SHAME! So I got a Mickey Waffle and some bacon, and also some grits, (because I’d spent three days south of DC and hadn’t had grits.) It was way too much food. But all quite good.


I hopped on the boat to Disney Springs. It was only 10 AM so most stuff wasn’t open yet, but I did some shopping, was hoping to get a wine slushy, but Amorette’s wasn’t opening until noon, so that was a non starter. (My ME was at 1:30, AND I had a work call at 12:30, so I couldn’t swing that.)

I hopped on a boat to Saratoga Springs, to get my Saratoga Springs Ornament (In November I’m going to try to get over to Animal Kingdom Lodge one afternoon…and obviously I’ll get a POP one while we’re staying there.) So I’m halfway to my plan being finished.

Then I had to boat back to Disney Springs, then back to Port Orleans, just in time to grab my bags hop on the bus. HOORAY!

Seriously, it was much better than running back and forth to a park that morning. The work call was much easier tucked into a corner of the Saratoga Springs lobby than anywhere else. (I’m not going to lie, if I’d been in a park, it would have been AK, and I’d have likely settled at Nomad Lounge. While not have a Night Monkey probably made the call better and more productive, it sure was a bummer for me.)

Then it was back on the bus and to the airport. My flight wound up delayed (OMG!) but at least I wasn’t stuck all night, just a few hours, and while a margarita and some Mexican food filled that time (plus finally finally finishing The Stand) 

So, next week we’ll talk about the hotel and go through favorites. And this time next month I’ll be back in Disney! YAY!

The Kiss

In which I finally back up my claim that I have designed Tristan to be kind of the worst.

Seriously.

The Marina Chronicle

We’re going back to Dovetail and I don’t know how I feel about it. The other healers are already talking about what we’re going to need to do when battle begins and I’m nervous about what it will be like.

I’m not nervous about the battle itself. I have complete faith in Lisette. She’s incredible and the more time we spend together, the more sure I am that she’s going to be a great Queen. And not just because it turns out that she may in fact be chosen by the gods to do it.

Since she’s come however, I have noticed that Tristan barely speaks to me. Athena is nicer to me than she’s been our entire lives though. And I really like Aaron. He’s funny, and he clearly cares about Annalise more than just about anyone.

Today, while I was taking a break from packing up the tent…

View original post 1,086 more words

It’s So Nice To Be Back Home Where I Belong

Last weeked was a busy,  fun and exhausting weekend, where I managed to touch base with a bunch of things that make me very happy, but that I’m still kind of recovering from.

First of all, Kristi and I met up at New York Comic Con.

My love for NYCC is real. Despite it’s often unweildy size, ridiculous ticketing policies and overall sense of muchness, I never have a bad time, at this, the first con I ever attended. And although I only touched base for 24 hours this time, it was still incredible.

Aside from taking a picture with Mark Hamill, Kristi and I walked the floor chatted with people at Artist Alley, and generally took part in fun.

I was reminded of what I love about Cons and pretty much immediately registered for another one (I’m finally gonna hit Broadway Con! WOOO!) and spending the evening at dinner with Kristi and Aless and acquaintance who I guess is a friend now Jake, and then at the Geek Girl Brunch After Party (Where Kristi and I were sexually harassed exactly 0 times! SO, improvement over last year’s after party! Which was NOT the Geek Girl Brunch one, I should note!)  I remembered how great the nerd life can be.

Of course getting home at 3 AM and passing out on my couch (though I did eventually make it to my bed) it made getting up the next day to drive up to Allendale and see my family, and head BACK into the city to see Hello Dolly! a little bit tough.

BUT WORTH IT!

I’ve mentioned that talking about Star Wars with my brother one of my favorite things in the world. One of the only things I love more than that is talking musical theater with both my siblings. Discussing Gavin Creel’s perfect crooning of “It Only Takes A Moment”, our excitement at seeing two of the greatest comedians ever performing some of the funniest scenes in the history of the genre (seriously, David Hyde Pierce and Bette Midler’s work in the dinner scene of Act II  is insanely good!) the discussion of how the show will change when the replacements go in. (Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber are ALSO insanely good, but a good deal more dry than Bette and David. It’ll be a very different show, and probably a lot more sarcastic)

But overall, what this year, and specifically these past few months (which have been very stressful, for reasons I don’t want to get into here, suffice to say, day job drama) is that I don’t need to compartmentalize my interests the way I used to.

Which is part of why (also aformentioned day job induced stress) that I’ve cut back here. I have way increased my facebook presence however. So check things out over there.

There are videos of me and Kristi at Comic Con, (and of the aftermath) pictures of the cooking I’ve been doing, places I’ve been visiting, Katie and my weekly videos about Will & Grace, and general musing.

This blog isn’t going anywhere. It means to much to me, and it makes a great hub, but my attention has been elsewhere lately and it feels nice to have let go of it a little bit.

I am going to finish up the trip reports for the Disney Trip, and hey, movie season was quieter this year, but does roll ever on. (Thor and Star Wars and Coco are still coming at the very least.)

 

The Sword Of The Goddess

In case you missed the signs, Annalise is literally the chosen one.

BEWARE! BROODING AHEAD!

The Marina Chronicle

Annalise and I sat talking pretty much until dawn. Once we were past the terribly heavy burden of the fact that she’d had a Dream of me as Brayton’s queen. (Just the thought of it makes me gag), and the Tristan mess, we were able to just talk, which was kind of amazing.

I like her. She’s funny and smart, and she’s a very good listener. I think all of this is going to make her a very good queen. I got back and found Papa sitting at his desk, asleep on his book. I smiled and slipped it out from under him. I glanced at what he was reading.

The sword is said to rise from the union of land of sea, Chosen by The Goddess and blessed by The God, The Sword will cut the strings that bind the wheel of fate and return the gods to the…

View original post 620 more words

Disney Cousin Fall Trip: 9/17/2017 Part 2: “It’s Really Not So Scary!”

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_404928657181

There was some discussion about what our first step would be when we got to The Magic Kingdom. The intitial plan had been to use a Fastpass on Jungle Cruise before our dinner, but because of Hurricane Damage, Jungle Cruise was close. We decided instead to hop on Big Thunder Mountain.

I love that ride, even though I prefer it at night, I enjoyed it this time around too, the thing about having ridden it at night is that I know more of what to look for on the ride now.  I’m still excited to ride it after dark again though. Then we headed to Main Street to do some shopping (Tom was buying pins for all of his people, and we found an AWESOME set of pins that featured Mickey and Minnie dressed as Mary Poppins and Bert to give to my Aunt and Uncle! I also picked up a few things!)

We then headed up and climbed through the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but it beats just wandering around doing nothing, and it’s right across the way from Skipper Canteen, where we were eating.

Then we checked in to the restaurant, this was important, since we weren’t riding the Jungle Cruise, we needed to get that sweet, sweet, Jungle Cruise humor.

Also the food. Our skipper was great, full of jokes and fun. I had the pork chops and Tom had the steak, and it’s hard not to feel grateful for that drink, even if it is just a simple glass of wine, or in Tom’s case a Blue Moon. We also sketched out our plan for the party, which wound up being a bit uneccessary, for reason I will get in to. (Hint, it involves basically no lines at all!)

We then headed over to Tomorrowland, as we had a Space Mountain fastpass. We speedily got through the ride and line and then headed over to Buzz Lightyear, which, I think actually matched it’s line number, but it was still less than 20 minutes.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_8098481405

Tom is focused…I look bored…

We had planned on then doing Philharmagic, but it was already closed to be a trick or treating location so we moved over to Peter Pan, which again, line said 40 minutes. It was 25. We got out and it was party time, so we headed to Pirates, and the Haunted Mansion, and then Mine Train.

Mine Train was our second longest line of the trip (after Flight of Passage) at 45 minutes. A real killer. I love that ride though and especially like riding it at night. We then decided to camp out on Mainstreet for the Parade, found a spot at the hub.

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_8098544183

Boo To You really is exceptionally good. It’s entertaining, gives you a fun look at the characters and I have the song stuck in my head still.

We were kind of wiped, so we found ourselves a table outside of Casey’s, after swinging by the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor so that I could try the Pumpkin ice cream.

OMG, that ice cream, when I get around to favorites, I’ll talk about it more, but it was amazing. It tastes like pumpkin pie, and ice cream, it’s incredible. We moved to the middle of main street for Hallowishes, which is also incredible. The soundtrack and castle projections are fun, and we then decided to head out, rather than hang out for the extra 45 minutes. The short lines had gotten us everything we wanted to do earlier than expected and we were truly exhausted. We got back to Riverside and decided to grab a night cap at River Roost. We grabbed a seat by the fireplace, chatted about the overall fun of our trip, and I have to say, this remains my favorite part of just about any trip.

I love the parks, I love the restaurants, but I really, really love these decompressing moments. Juli and I drinking champagne on our condo balcony after our trip around the world. Sitting with a beer by myself, with my feet up, watching the bits of Symphony In the Stars I could see from my window at The Swan. Rolling the coffee table away in our villa at Saratoga to do yoga and stay limber the night before the race with Kristi. Chatting with the bar staff at Tune-In Lounge in my dapper-ware. This moment, relaxing and recapping with my cousin.

They’re the best. Cannot be beat.

There’s one more day of trip to talk about, but it’s breif, and then hotel talk and favorites! (Yes, I am squeezing over a month of content out of these 3 days…)

Stay tunes!

By The Water, In The Moonlight

Annalise and Marina need to talk…like, a lot.

The Marina Chronicle

There’s a lake right near by the camp and after dinner (which we ate with the contingent from Pantona. Countess Olivia is very good at keeping things from being awkward. I ought to ask her to teach me.) After Annalise asked if we could walk and we wound up here. We were silent for a few minutes until she started moving bubbles of water around, by carefully waving her hands.

“That’s amazing,” I whispered.

“Parlor tricks,” she muttered, “I’m out of practice and I’ve never been any good at battle magic. I don’t know how I could ever beat a shadow, let alone an army of them.” She looked at me. “I’m going to need a lot of help.”

“I don’t know that I’ll be much help,” I said softly. She looked at me. “I’m not a fighter, and you have warriors, and the twins, and,” she laughed.

“Yes, I…

View original post 430 more words